Thursday, November 28, 2013

By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday, November 28, 2013

Chow and Mulcair fume after Trudeau uses Layton’s dying words to denounce NDP in victory speech

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is under fire for echoing the dying words of Jack Layton to denounce the NDP following Monday night’s byelection victories, which left Layton’s widow, NDP MP Olivia Chow, “surprised and disappointed.”

Despite no change in seats (Liberals and Conservatives both kept two) Trudeau was resoundingly declared the winner of Monday’s four byelection races because of the large uptick in overall support for the Grits. The young Liberal leader claimed a positive approach to politics was behind his party’s resurgence, which he said was being countered by a negative campaign by the NDP in the contested ridings of Toronto Centre and Bourassa.

“Make no mistake, the NDP is no longer the hopeful, optimistic party of Jack Layton. It is the negative, divisive party of Thomas Mulcair. It is the Liberal party tonight that proved hope is stronger than fear, that positive politics can and should win out over the negative,” Trudeau said Monday night.

In a letter to Canadians days before his death in August 2011, Layton famously penned: “Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear.”

Chow insisted Tuesday that the NDP is “the party of love, hope and optimism,” but also said her party should remain focused on the ruling Conservatives.

“If we are to have a better country, and certainly Canadians deserve a lot better, we need to focus on Stephen Harper. Yes, we are the party of love, hope and optimism and let’s be hopeful. Let’s not be fearful of each other, but let’s train our eyes on the real problem, which is Stephen Harper’s government,” the Toronto MP (and expected 2014 mayoral candidate) told reporters.

The comment would seemingly put her at odds with NDP Leader Tom Muclair, who has increasingly taken shots at Trudeau, whose popularity in Quebec could wipe out the NDP’s historic gains in the 2011 election. (Source: National Post)